Franklin County woman accused in Capitol riot faces fines and possible jail time


ST. LOUIS – Emily Hernandez, of Sullivan, surrendered to federal authorities early Tuesday evening, after allegedly stealing part of a sign from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.   

Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Hernandez last week. This was her initial appearance.

Hernandez, 21, faces five misdemeanor counts for allegedly entering a restricted government building to impede government business (the joint session of Congress to certify electoral votes from the presidential election), disorderly conduct, and stealing government property.  She did not enter a plea.

Hernandez surrendered at FBI headquarters in St. Louis, walking in alongside her attorney, Ethan Corlija.   She said nothing.   Corlija called her “the girl next door.”

Court records say a tipster identified Hernandez as one of the people who had accessed U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Authorities say they also found videos placing Hernandez at the scene through her social media accounts. She’s seen holding what remained of a name plate from the Speaker’s office.

Prosecutors say there is reason to believe Hernandez knowingly entered restricted buildings or grounds, engaged in disruptive conduct in the Capitol complex, and stole, sold, conveyed or disposed of things of value, among a list of five possible charges.

Corlija said Hernandez did not threaten or hurt anyone and was not out to overthrow the government or stop the electoral vote certification.

“Absolutely not,” Corlija said.  “We’re not going to discuss any of that…It’s an unfortunate situation.  It’ a situation she did not want to put herself in.  She’s willing to move beyond it.  She’s willing to make it right and get on with the rest of her life.”

The affidavit says the value of the sign is $870.   

Hernandez told the judge she lives with her parents. She was released on an appearance bond: a written promise that she will appear at future court proceedings. Those proceedings will be in the nation’s capital but could shift back to St. Louis if she pleads guilty.  

If convicted, Hernandez faces up to a year in prison plus fines on each count.  

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News